Razor bumps, called Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) by dermatologists, are a long term skin condition caused by shaving or plucking hairs and genetic factors. It starts in the teenage years when shaving begins. Afro-textured hair, which is tightly curled and coiled, is most commonly affected. Shaving, plucking, tweezing, waxing, and even threading can worsen this condition.
Razor bumps are more commonly seen in skin of color for genetic reasons: hair is more tightly coiled and the hair follicles are more curved. When shaving close to the skin, curved hair curls backwards piercing the skin causing inflammation. Painful bumps can appear which leads to long-lasting or permanent dark spots, scars, and even keloids. The bumps can also become infected with bacteria causing pus and more scarring. The cheeks and neck are most involved followed by the bikini area and armpits.
Obviously the best treatment is prevention: not shaving or plucking. This is not always possible and many people prefer a clean shaved look. Laser hair removal is a more permanent solution but requires multiple sessions and can be expensive. Your Provider will review gentle shaving techniques which are proven to reduce the inflammation. They will also prescribe you medications which can both treat the symptoms (itch, pain, dark spots) and prevent them from occurring. They will tailor a treatment plan based on your individualized skincare goals. Click below to start your razor bumps consultation today!